The World Clydesdale Show was a bittersweet situation for Wynyard area Clydesdale producer Neil Campbell.
“I sent four mares down,” he explained, the horses making the trip to Madison Wisconsin with Boulder Bluff Clydesdales from Manitoba.
For Campbell it was the second time to send horses to the world show, the first time six years ago, but unlike the first time his horses went south, Campbell did not go with them to see how they did in the show ring.
“I stayed home and combined,” he said, adding the major farm enterprise for he and his sons is the grain side of things.
Campbell said not being at the show was disappointing.
“It’s frustrating because I raised the mares myself,” he said, adding that connection really made him want to be on-hand when they were shown. “It took a bit of the pleasure out of it when I couldn’t be there myself.”
But at least the harvest did get wrapped up as his horses were in Wisconsin.
“It was a very difficult harvest,” said Campbell, noting they started on Aug. 23, and finally wrapped up Oct. 27. “There was a nine week stretch we didn’t do any combining at all.”
Campbell said he has always left the training and showing of his Clydesdales to others simply based on not having the time to properly do it himself.
“I don’t have the skill, or the time to do justice to it,” he said, adding he focuses on “foaling out the mares” then hands the best show prospects to his friends in Manitoba who work with the animals to get them ready for the ring. They also take them to various shows, this year including the one in Madison.
It is a process that has worked well in the 12 years Campbell has raised Clydesdales after purchasing his first mares from the late Greg Gallagher of Canora.
As for Madison, Campbell said considering his mares were young, he is quite satisfied with the results.
Two were shown in halter classes finishing seventh and eighth in classes of 16 and 15 respectively.
“They were in the middle of the classes. I’m very pleased with that in that kind of competition,” he said.
The four mares were also driven in a number of hitch classes, again staying in the middle of the pack.
“I’m very, very pleased. These mares are only three and four years old,” he said.
Being such young stock the mares will be in their prime in three years when the world event is next held, scheduled for Brandon, MB.
“You start making some tentative plans already,” said Campbell.